Legal Stuff: Paramount owns all that is Trek. What they don‘t own is my imagination, so I‘m letting Tom and B‘Elanna play there for a while. When they‘re done, I‘ll return them. This is not for profit. Feel free to archive this, or share via email, but please keep this header and my name attached.


** The Promise **

by Becky H.

*If you wait for me, then I‘ll come for you
*Although I have traveled far
*I always hold a place for you in my heart

Tom Paris was missing, and now, three days after his disappearance Captain Janeway was ready to officially report him as MIA, presumed dead.

It was all so incredible, B‘Elanna thought. Only days before she and Tom had been arguing over breakfast. It was one of those arguments that meant nothing, that you would later be hard pressed to remember what was all about.

Now, she didn‘t know what to think. Was he gone forever? Her friend, her confidante, her mate? It just didn‘t seem real. Logically, she knew that after three days on the friendless moon he‘d crashed upon that it was beyond likely that he‘d survived. Emotionally, her heart cried out that he was still alive, for surely it would have fractured in a million pieces if he‘d died?

*If you think of me, if you miss me once in a while
*Then I‘ll return to you
*I‘ll return and fill that space in your heart
He was all she thought about. Day and night her mind was centered on the one person in the universe who meant everything to her. She went about her daily business, fixing the warp core, fine tuning the engines, and fixing the million and one other things that always clamored for her attention. Through it all, he was never far from her thoughts, from her heart.

The nights were the hardest though, the empty nights with no caresses, no soft whispers of loving affection. Only an empty room, an even emptier bed.

*Remembering your touch, your kiss, your warm embrace
*I‘ll find my way back to you
*If you‘ll be waiting
It was if her heart was waiting for the other shoe to drop. It kept waiting, for what it wasn‘t sure, it only knew that if it stopped waiting, it would be over. The laughter, the caring, the love that they‘d had would be gone… forever. So it kept waiting, and hoping… and dreaming.
*If you dream of me, like I dream of you
*in a place that‘s warm and dark
*in a place where I can feel the beating of your heart
Her dreams took her back to Sikari IV, where their heated embraces could‘ve led to so much more. It didn‘t happen then, but it was a time she‘d always remember. It was the first time their lips had met and began the dance that was as old as time. It was when she knew that Tom loved her.
*Remembering your touch, your kiss, your warm embrace
*I‘ll find my way back to you
*if you‘ll be waiting
She remembered little things about him now. How he loved to lift her hand, and gently kiss the inside. She never told him how feminine that made her feel. It was a feeling she was unused to, being so much stronger than most humans were. She was slowly coming alive again. In bits and pieces. Today she even went into Sandrine‘s with Harry. It was hard for him too, but together they made it through the evening.
*Oh, I‘ve longed for you
*And I have have desired
*to see your face in a smile
*To be with you wherever you are
She actually found herself smiling at someone‘s joke today. It had been months since she‘d been able to smile at anything. She was starting to live again. It was a pale shadow of her life from before, but it was life. She knew that Tom wouldn‘t want her to stop living because he had. So she went on… somehow.
*Remembering your touch, your kiss, your warm embrace
*I‘ll find my way back to you
*please say you‘ll be waiting
Tonight she had dinner with Chakotay. It had been a long time since the two of them had talked. It felt good to share her happy memories of Tom with him. The two of them, Tom and Chakotay, hadn‘t always gotten along, but had found common ground in their love for her. It was something she‘d always be grateful for.
*Together again it would feel so good to be
*in your arms
*where all my journeys end
Tom had told her once, when he was in a serious mood, that he felt that all his trials, all the horrible things he‘d lived through had all led him to her arms. He said it was where his journey ended. She wished that were so, and not on some unnamed moon in the Delta Quadrant.
*If you can make a promise
*if it‘s one that you can keep
*I‘ll vow to come for you
*if you‘ll wait for me
*and say you‘ll hold
*a place for me in your heart
It had been six months now. She dreamed of him that night, dreamt that he had stolen into their quarters and stood silently above her, just watching her sleep. The dream was so real that she found herself opening her eyes, expecting to see him there… and there he was. She sat silent, blinking, thinking, emotions running rampant through her.

"Tom?" Her voice sounded tremulous to her own ears.

"Yes, my heart?" His voice sounded so strong, so like Tom‘s that she closed her eyes, afraid that yet again she‘d been dreaming that she‘d awoken. Roughened hands caressed her face. "B‘Elanna, my heart, my love, my mate. It‘s really me, I‘m home."

Her eyes opened, tears falling unheeded from them. "How? How is that possible?"

He sat down on the bed, holding her close, trying to convince her with his body that he was real. "I was rescued by some salvagers who had spotted the wrecked shuttle. They toook me to a station where I found passage on a ship. I‘ve been working as a pilot on one ship or another, hoping desperately to hear news of Voyager. Only three days ago did I find out that I was in the same system. I came immediately."

Her fingers traced his face, his eyes, his lips, learning him all over again.


He smiled, "Yes?"

"I kept my promise."

He frowned, "What promise?"

She looked up at him, "To keep a place for you in my heart… always and forever."

He entwined their fingers, as their hearts were as well. "Always and forever, my love."

The End

Mushy I know, but it was late and that‘s such an amazing song by Tracy Chapman. It‘s called "The Promise".